Category Archives: Illustration

Amazing Local Talent at the Brisbane Writers Festival

Image: Betty Churcher’s Notebooks

It’s Brisbane Writers Festival time again and Brisbane is in for a real treat when local born and one of Australia’s best loved art critics, Betty Churcher showcases her most beloved works, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Goya, Velzquez, Courbet and Cezanne, with her own amazing illustrations in her latest book, Notebooks, at the Brisbane Writers Festival this week. Betty Churcher will talk about Notebooks and her experiences in creating the drawings at the Festival on Friday 9th September 2011.

A 2006 trip to London and Madrid to see the paintings that had captivated her since childhood resulted in the writing of this book.

Notebooks is a collection of Betty Churcher’s own illustrations. A trained artist, Betty’s sketches reveal the secrets within the artworks and the processes of their creation.

Betty has been an art critic for The Australian and wrote and presented several television series on art including, Take Five and Hidden Treasures. She holds an Order of Australia and is an Officer of the Order of Australia.

This book is full of the magic of great art, and through it, Betty Churcher has achieved her belief that art has the power to transport the viewer to another place and time.

Yours in Great Art
Angie Rapisarda

Get your chalk out!

I am always a sucker for good old hand-drawn typography, but hand-drawn typography on a blackboard is just another level of amazement.
Seeing as my blackboard writing skills were clearly tragic when I worked at a school, Dana Tanamachi is my new idol. Take a look at some of her work!

DT Flourish Finished


tanamachi target alphabet decals

tanamachi target home sign




If you want to see more, take a look at her website here.

Semi-Permanent Brisbane a great inspiration!

This year’s Semi-Permanent Brisbane was an awesome day packed with some really inspiring speakers. The video above, by Supervixen, formed the introduction. The concept represents the conference making an impact on which ever country it arrives at.

Another of my favourite speakers was illustrator/fashion photographer, Kelly Thompson. Having developed a reputation for getting the sass out of models at photoshoots, she often illustrates over the photos or uses her photos as inspiration for her illustrations. Below are a couple of her beautiful illustrations.



 Semi-Permanent hits Melbourne next, over two days 23 and 24 September.

Yours in inspiration,


Semi-Permanent Hits Brisbane This Friday


Are you one of the lucky ones to score a ticket to Semi-Permanent in Brisbane this Friday? I hope so, because this year’s conference is looking pretty awesome and tickets are sold out!

Every year in 8 cities across the world Semi-Permanent showcases the best in graphic design, film, fine art, illustration, web design, interactive design, photography, visual effects, animation, graffiti, motion graphics, stop motion, architecture, and much more. This year the Brisbane line up includes: T-World, Toby Dixon, Gemma O’Brien, Supervixen, Sam Leach, Reg Mombassa, Kelly Thompson and Webuyyourkids. It’s always an amazing and inspiring day held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

There’s always a couple of side events, so if you’re free make sure you get down to the:

– Etcc Exhibition from 6-9pm at Sh00ting Gallery (105 Bowen Street, Spring Hill) featuring Anthony Lister, RINZEN, Sebastian Moody
– Webuyyourkids – John Carpenter Exhibition from 6pm at Nine Lives Gallery (5F Winn St, Fortitude Valley)
– Semi-Permanent After Party from 7-11pm at Nine Lives Gallery (5F Winn St, Fortitude Valley)

A few of us from Brio Group will be there so make sure you come and say hi!

Yours in inspiration,

Hottest 10 Australian album covers

Triple J recently counted down the Hottest 100 Australian Albums, as voted by the Aussie public. When I was compiling my shortlist in preparation to vote, I noticed that the albums I remembered best as a whole, were the ones that I could remember what the cover looked like. It made me wonder if the album cover art had anything to do with how people voted. Below are images of the top 10 albums. While they are pretty diverse, what they have in common is (1) an iconic image and (2) simple supplementary typography.

Counting down from 10…

10. Regurgitator – Unit (my personal favourite!)

A really iconic and minimalist cover that won the 1998 ARIA award for best cover art.

9. The Avalanches – Since I left you.

The concept album was described as a search for love from country to country, relating to the international nature of the records that influenced the album. The cover image tells a story, and is supported by the very simple album title.

8. Wolfmother (self titled)

This album takes a similar approach, with the main illustrative image used to tell the story, plus simple typography that forms the bands logo.

7. The Presets – Apocalypso

Surrealist image + typographical band logo.

6. Powderfinger – Internationalist

Included a series of beautiful illustrations by Michael Mucci and won the 1999 ARIA award for best cover art.

5. INXS – Kick

A surprisingly modern, dynamic and timeless design for an album released in 1987.

4. The Living End – (self titled)

The cover art is based on a photo of the inside of a World War I all-female bomb factory.

3. ACDC – Back in Black

It doesn’t get much more distinctive than this! A timeless rock n roll cover, for a timeless rock n roll album.

2. Silverchair – Frogstomp

A really memorable cover – simple and effective.

1. Powderfinger – Odyssey Number Five

The central image took a different angle and won the 2000 ARIA award for best cover art.

What’s your favourite album cover?

Yours in cover art,


Functional turns decorative

Check out this fantastically creative fence art designed and produced by Dutch design outfit: DemarkersvanLace Fence. Dutch design strikes again!!!

Images by Lace Fence.

Lace Fence have crafted something which was purely functional with a hostile stigma into something aesthetic and decorative while still functional. They have crafted a variety of designs ranging from lace florals to contemporary designs. Their design range is not limited to these, as they are taking on new projects, each with their own weird and wonderful structures and briefs to work with.

I wish I discovered Lace Fence before I invested thousand$$ in my home fencing renovations!!!

Yours in beautiful home renovations!
Amber van Sloten

Winners announced at Cannes Lions Festival

We’re all very excited about the Cannes Lions Festival which is currently in full swing. Shortlists and winners are being announced daily at the Cannes Lions website and diary entries from Aussie representatives at Cannes are being detailed at Campaign Brief.

The festival describes itself as ‘the world’s only truly global meeting place for creative professionals’ and to win a ‘Cannes Lion’ is widely regarded as the most prestigious award in our industry. The best global talent is showcased over seven days and 57 sessions, and thought-leaders and experts come together to inspire, debate and entertain.

To celebrate the festival Youngbloods are hosting an event at Limes Hotel tomorrow for a night of screening, judging and drinking. $15 will get you entry, a free drink on arrival and canapes. Not to mention the priceless opportunity to hear some of Brisbane’s top dogs cast their vote on who will win what at Cannes. They’ll also be giving away 1 x AdSchool Workshop and a lunch date with a professional in your chosen field on the night.

Tickets are limited and must be purchased prior to the event, buy them here:

But if you can’t make it you can still view highlights from the Festival, interviews with the speakers and photos from around the Palais, as well as all the winners as they are announced, here.

Yours in advertising,

Branded Fashion – inspiration for the design

Teaching branded fashion this semester at Billy Blue has resulted in me uncovering the story and inspiration behind many established and young fashion designers. In particular we discuss the connection behind their design philosophy and how that transfers to their work and builds their brand. One fashion designer that I will explore this week with my students is Aitor Throup and in particular his Goggle Jacket.

Throup is fascinated by anatomy and drawing, which have a big impact on how he designs his clothes. ‘My work is primarily about finding a reason to create or design anything. I am interested in justifying all design features and I avoid gratuitous detailing’ he notes.

His design process is distinct. First he draws characters and then ‘I convert those characters and their defining characteristics into wearable versions of themselves so that any design features are dictated by the character and its relevance to the story. That is where the drawings come in. I don’t believe in decorative values. I believe in origin, process and innovation.’

Aitor is inspired by sport and military clothing and hearing him discuss the design of the Goggle Jacket in this YouTube clip is really inspiring. (ps. keep an eye out for the Fiat 500)

Yours in branded fashion


Cleanse and refresh your creative soul

The Dalai Lama is coming to Australia next month, and I managed to score a ticket to see his seminar in Melbourne. I’m really looking forward to dosing my soul in clean, refreshing perspective. So this month, I’m getting ready by cleansing my creative soul, and came across this great blog with some truly beautiful, simple poster designs. To refresh your creative soul, check out some more designs in Francesco Mugnai’s blog.

Yours in refreshed perspective,